• PRACTICE FOCUS+
  • EDUCATION+
    • Tulane University Law School
      J.D., 1991; Senior Notes and Comments Editor, Tulane Law Review
    • University of Maryland
      B.S., 1986
  • ADMISSIONS+
    • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
    • California
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
    • Louisiana
  • CLERKSHIP+
    • Judicial Law Clerk to the Hon. F.A. Little, Jr., U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana

Jay Russell Sever

Jay Sever is a partner in the Insurance and Reinsurance group of Phelps Dunbar. He is also the Practice Coordinator for the Insurance and Reinsurance group in the New Orleans office. He serves as local, regional and national coverage counsel for both foreign and domestic insurance companies. He counsels clients, manages disputes and tries cases involving a wide variety of insurance coverage issues, including matters arising from bad faith, construction defects claims, third-party liability claims, first-party claims, professional liability claims, crane and rigging claims, racing and competitive sport claims, entertainment claims, transportation claims, environmental claims, general and toxic tort claims, advertising, copyright and trademark claims, media liability claims, multiple-year trigger and allocation issues, marine liability claims, Louisiana direct action claims and numerous others.

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Jay Sever is a partner in the Insurance and Reinsurance group of Phelps Dunbar. He is also the Practice Coordinator for the Insurance and Reinsurance group in the New Orleans office. He serves as local, regional and national coverage counsel for both foreign and domestic insurance companies. He counsels clients, manages disputes and tries cases involving a wide variety of insurance coverage issues, including matters arising from bad faith, construction defects claims, third-party liability claims, first-party claims, professional liability claims, crane and rigging claims, racing and competitive sport claims, entertainment claims, transportation claims, environmental claims, general and toxic tort claims, advertising, copyright and trademark claims, media liability claims, multiple-year trigger and allocation issues, marine liability claims, Louisiana direct action claims and numerous others.

In addition to handling cases in Louisiana and California courts in which he is admitted, Mr. Sever also has acted as lead counsel in cases pending in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Mr. Sever's practice, both litigation and counseling, involves attorneys from all of Phelps Dunbar's offices in the Gulf South and, where necessary, local counsel in states throughout the United States.

Mr. Sever serves as the Practice Coordinator for the Insurance and Reinsurance group in the New Orleans office.

Experience

  • Act as regional and coordinating coverage counsel for multiple domestic insurers, actively handling coverage counseling and litigation matters in multiple Southeastern and Southwestern states from the Carolinas to Oklahoma.
  • Act as national coverage and coordinating counsel for domestic insurer, actively handling insurance coverage counseling and litigation matters nationwide.
  • Assisted major domestic insurer in drafting manuscript wording for Well Out Of Control policies, Underground Resources and Equipment Coverage and Contractors Pollution Liability Coverage.
  • Drafted manuscript wording for crane and heavy equipment insurers to address the specialized needs of the industry.
  • Acted as coordinating counsel for domestic insurers and handled dozens of litigation matters arising out of recent hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Acted as coordinating counsel for domestic insurers and handled litigation in multiple states arising out of Chinese Drywall claims brought by thousands of claimants in Florida, Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Texas.
  • Acted as national and coordinating coverage counsel for domestic insurer for crane and rigging insurance claims.
  • Represented domestic insurer in significant 2012 decision involving the application of a pollution exclusion in a CGL insurance policy under Georgia law (U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals).
  • Acted as national coverage counsel for domestic insurer handling specialized sports, recreation, entertainment and event insurance.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a domestic insurer in a bad faith claim involving allegations of improper claim handling under Alabama law (U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama).
  • Represented insurers of treated wood company in coverage litigation involving alleged injuries caused by chromated copper arsenic (U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida).
  • Obtained rulings from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for insurers of metal manufacturing company relative to claims for environmental response costs.
  • Represented insurers of chemical pesticide manufacturer relative to claims for coverage of clean-up costs at multiple sites.
  • Defense at jury trial of insurers of major waste management company relative to coverage for clean-up and response costs at multiple sites (Texas trial court).
  • Defense at trial of insurers of a chemical manufacturer relative to claims of coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by alleged exposure to toxic chemical (Louisiana trial court).

Insights

Speaking Engagements
  • Speaker, “Louisiana Hayride – Arceneaux and Pro-rata Defense Allocation—the New Trend,” ACCEC Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL (May 2017)
  • Speaker, “Addressing Critical Coverage Issues Before, During and After Mediation: Putting the Horse Before the Cart,” ABA Insurance Conference, Tucson, AZ (March 2017)
  • Panel Moderator, “Construction Defect Coverage Wars,” Perrin Construction 2nd Annual National Defect Conference, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (November 2016)
  • Speaker, “Product Liability Claims in Construction: Litigation, Coverage Tips and Strategies,” CLM National Construction Claims Conference, San Diego, CA (September 2016)
  • Speaker, “Reservations about Reservations,” CLM Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (April 2016)
  • ? Panel Moderator, “Construction Defect Coverage Issues on the Move,” Perrin Conferences 1st Annual National Construction Defect Conference (November 2015)
  • Panel Moderator, “Additional Insured and Contractual Indemnity Issues: How to Get Them Right,” VEADR Conference, Key West, FL (June 2015)
  • Speaker, “Defining What Constitutes an Occurrence to Trigger a Policy, Determining Whether Endorsements or Exclusions Apply, Resolving Construction Defect Claims, and the Interplay with Performance Bonds,” ACI 2nd National Forum on Construction Claims and Litigation Conference, New York, NY (February 2015)
  • Panel Moderator, "East Region Judges – Live!", MC Consultants Inc. 8th Annual East Region Construction Litigation & Insurance Coverage Conference, Orlando, FL (June 25, 2014) (June 2014)
  • Speaker, "Time Limit Demands in 2014 – Tripartite Perils and Potential Solutions," Value Engineered Alternative Dispute Resolution (VEADR) 2014 Annual Event, Key West, FL (May 29, 2014)
  • Value Engineered Alternative Dispute Resolution (VEADR) 2014 Annual Event (May 2014)
  • Speaker, "Factual Background: Statistics, Factual Overview of Damages from Tornadoes and Hurricanes," HarrisMartin CAT Flood and Windstorm Litigation Conference, Dallas, TX (October 11, 2013)
  • HarrisMartin's CAT Flood and Windstorm Litigation Conference (September 2013)
  • Speaker, "Construction Defect Claims – From The Insured's Perspective," 7th Annual East Region Construction Defect and Insurance Coverage Conference, Orlando, FL (June 19-21, 2013)
  • Speaker, "Alternative Dispute Resolution – Collaborative Litigation," Claims Legal Management ("CLM") Annual Conference, San Antoino, TX (April 10-12, 2013)
  • Speaker, "The Economic & Environmental Impact of the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf States," Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Williamsburg, Virginia (July 21-24, 2011)
  • Speaker, "The Ripple Effect of Catastrophic Environmental Events: Moratoriums, Regulatory Change, and Industry Reaction - Do We Learn From Our Mistakes?" Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Indian Wells, California (February 26-March 5, 2011)
  • Speaker, "Insurance Coverage Trends," National Business Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana (June 2006 and June 2007)
  • Speaker, "The Storm After the Storm: The Katrina Coverage Litigation," New Jersey State Bar Association, Atlantic City, New Jersey (May 2006)
  • Speaker, "Special Coverage of Hurricane-Related Issues," University of Texas School of Law 10th Annual Insurance Law Institute," Austin, TX (December 2005)
News

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • State Bar of California
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit
  • Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar)
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel (ACCEC)

Teaching and Certifications

  • CLM Claims College; Executive Board (2014-2016) and Instructor
  • CLM Litigation Management Institute, New York (2015) Certified Litigation Management Professional
  • 2010-present: Certified to teach continuing education courses for qualification in multiple states

Recognition

  • New Orleans Magazine - Top Lawyers: Insurance Law
  • AV© Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Louisiana Super Lawyers